Sheep, goats, and cattle enjoying a warm morning at Taylor-Bray Farm in Yarmouth Port.
My mind was set on painting the sheep grazing in this pasture. Then I noticed the sunlight highlighting the foliage on the trees.
I went to work on the the foliage. (This is were I only needed to make color notes on my canvas of the foliage so I could get back to painting the sheep).
The light changed quickly, and the sheep moved to the back of the pasture, ugh! I didn’t take the time to block in a few of the sheep that made up my composition. It was time to stop… WIPE IT OUT! Yes, it’s o.k., it is my painting and there will be others…
I reminded myself that it can’t be easy painting a scene with moving animals. And I still had time to practice painting the Scottish Highland Cattle and some sheep that were now moving back into my view before heading home.
Being the end of my painting day, I didn’t worry about color. Just shape. I painted what I saw -the outline of the cattle. Then I cleaned up the lines by dragging my brush along the edge and added some highlights to give the cattle shape. I am glad I didn’t go home before painting the impressive Scottish Highland Cattle and wooly sheep! -Catherine, oct2014
At the end of a day of painting, I like to ask my husband Philip to take a look and give me feedback. Since I had no painting to show him, because remember I wiped it out, Philip shared some of what he knows about painting moving subjects. I want to share his advice with you.
- Take a picture of your subject right after you set up to paint, to capture the light on it, especially subject matter that will move -like cows, sheep, boats, and people.
- Develop your mind’s eye, so that you can better remember the scene/subject matter that first excited you and that you wanted to paint. This comes with “time, practice, and PATIENCE!” (smile).
- Work quickly, all around the canvas, making color notes, value notes, and just capturing the shapes of what’s in front of you.
- The camera photo is just for a reference back later in the studio, to remind you of the scene. Don’t paint from it per se. Close your eyes and try to remember the colors you saw at the site and their effect on the subject and YOU!
“Spoken like the true plein air soul that Philip is”. Click philipbergson.com for link to Philip Bergson Fine Art -Catherine